Halloween is less than 2 weeks away! In between prepping for a wedding (not mine) and a Halloween party (mine), I’ve been watching so many horror movies again this year. Of course, I think horror is a great genre year-round, but for those of you who only dabble in the black arts during Autumn, I thought I’d share my top 10 picks!
IMDB Description: “Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.”
I think this is one of the greatest modern horror movies. It’s based on a fascinating true story, and the cinematography is top-notch. It’s moody/atmospheric and the jump scares are kept to a minimum (which means that you’re always on guard and aren’t able to get used to them). There’s a reason that this film was successful enough to launch a huge franchise (The Conjuring 2, The Nun, Annabelle, etc.)
IMDB Description: “Five years after an unexplained malfunction causes the death of 15 tour-goers and staff on the opening night of a Halloween haunted house tour, a documentary crew travels back to the scene of the tragedy to find out what really happened.”
This is for sure one of my favorite independent horror movies. Again, instead of being replete with jump scares, there are lots of subtly creepy things that gradually build into a great ending. I highly recommend this one (but I do not recommend its two sequels). Bonus: creepy clowns.
IMDB Description: “A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.”
This movie has multiple things going for it: female friendship, claustrophobia, and weird underground creatures. My favorite thing about it really is how well it manages to make the viewer to feel trapped as well. This is a fascinating, unique film (which did not need a sequel – don’t watch the sequel).
IMDB Description: “A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it.”
I watched this film in junior high so it has a special place in my dark heart as being one of my first real horror movie experiences. Fun fact: I had a friend who was terrified of this movie. One day, she left her locker open and I put a note that said, “Seven Days” inside the locker and closed it. To this day, I think that’s one of the meanest things I’ve ever done. Overall, this is just a well-done horror movie with a surprisingly heartfelt plot and some stylistic cinematography.
IMDB Description: “A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.”
I love that this is a self-aware horror movie. Fans of horror will love the references to various horror tropes that pervade this film. I love the entire Scream franchise (including the spin-off TV series). These movies are great slasher flicks which don’t take themselves too seriously.
IMDB Description: “American seminary student Michael Kovak travels to Italy to take an exorcism course.”
Inspired by a true story, this is a great movie about faith. The acting is also superb since it stars none other than Sir Anthony Hopkins! This is the kind of movie that has plenty of scares but also makes you think about your own beliefs.
IMDB Description: “A young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.”
This is a groundbreaking movie that deserves a place in history for causing critics to start taking horror more seriously. This film, through its fantastic and nuanced discussion of race in America, proved that horror can have something to say. I highly recommend this one!
IMDB Description: “A woman, Rose, goes in search for her adopted daughter within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill.”
This is definitely my most controversial pick as it was panned by critics and horror-lovers alike. But I don’t care – I love this movie! Yes, it’s cheesy and based on a video game, but I think the special effects are great and some of the monsters (the nurses, pyramid-head, etc.) are super cool!
IMDB Description: “Five interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband; and a mean old man meets his match with a demonic, supernatural trick-or-treater.”
I don’t often like anthology films, but this is a really good one (which is also perfect thematically for Halloween). What sets this film apart is that the five stories are actually connected in a loose but organic way which makes it feel really complete. This one is definitely worth a watch!
IMDB Description: “Suspecting that people around him are turning into evil creatures, a troubled man questions whether to protect his only friend from an impending war, or from himself.”
I love psychological horror and this one kept me guessing until the very end – is this guy crazy or are evil things lurking about? This one is dark and suspenseful but more disturbing than scary. Overall, it’s one of the best low-budget horror options out there.
Well, I hope I’ve inspired you to give horror a try this Halloween season! Are you already a horror fan? What are some of your favorites? Please, let me know in the comment section!
Thanks for reading!
20 thoughts on “Top 10 Horror Movies for Halloween”
When The Ring came out, this was back in the day of Blockbuster, I picked up the wrong movie to rent. I saw Ringu, the Japanese version. Later, I saw The Ring.
I tell you, Ringu lets your own imagination terrify you. The American version is nothing next to it. I couldn’t sleep alone for a week.
Oh yes, I loved the Japanese version too! I got it from my local library a few years back 🙂 thanks for stopping by!
A great list, I can’t believe I left silent hill out of mine… especially the second one. A top 10 of horror movies is WAY too hard!
I loved the second one too – both great, underrated films! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
You’re right they are underrated and I think it’s a shame they only made 2, it’s such a cool world
I love this list! We share quite a lot of favorites. 🙂 Great minds think alike!
Awesome 🙂 Happy Halloween, Jonny!
Thanks, you too! I can’t wait!
An interesting list! I suppose that it is about time that I make another list of my own, it’s been years and I should really do another proper list.
Thanks 🙂 What do you think will be your top pick?
Oh man, it’s hard to tell. I’m watching Suspiria right now and that’s making a strong case for itself. However, Evil Dead and The Shining are often at the top for me. Maybe Nightmare On Elm Street 3.
Original suspiria or the remake? Both are pretty great in their own way!
The original and for the first time! I’ll have to check out the remake.
Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog, and happy not-long-to-go-till-Halloween!! I’ve seen a few of the films on your list and am itching to see the others when I can – especially Get Out. I’ve yet to tackle The Conjuring series and can’t wait for that. The original The Ring is an absolute masterpiece of horror and creepiness, and the remake is pretty good too. Like you I enjoyed Silent Hill – the setting, atmosphere and creatures managed to hit the right buttons for me!
I have watched and love most of these. I need to get to Hell House next
Going to have to watch Hell House LLC, that is the second time I’ve heard that mentioned as a great film to watch. Thanks for liking my Green Screen of Horror article too – I will be writing about horror films and games and maybe books too as the weeks go on.
Get Out was so good. It definitely put me in the main character’s shoes. Us was really good too.
Nice list…few need to watch….thanks…